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Acast Blessings on my child,
My little cherub, what hast thou to ask me ?

Ser. I bring you, sir, most glad and welcome news. The young Chamont, whom you've so often wish'd for, Is just arriv'd, and entering.

Acast. By my soul,
And all my honours, he's most dearly welcome;
Let me receive him like his father's friend.

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Enter CHAMONT. Welcome thou relict of the best lov'd man. Welcome from all the turmoils and the hazards Of certain danger and uncertain fortune ; Welcome as happy tidings after fears. Cha. Words wou'd but wrong the gratitude I owe

you : Shou'd I begin to speak, my soul's so full, That I should talk of nothing else all day.

Enter MONIMIA.
Mon. My brother!

Cha. Oh my sister ! let me hold thee
Long in my arms. I've not beheld thy face
These many days; by night I've often seen thec
In gentle dreams, and satisfy'd my soul
With fancy'd joys, 'till morning cares awak'd me.
Another sister ! sure it must be so;
Though I remember well I had but one:
But I feel something in my heart that prompts,
And tells me she has claim and interest there.

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Acast. Young soldier, you've not only study'd war, Courtship, I see, has been your practice too, And may not prove unwelcome to my daughter.

Cha. Is she your daughter! then my heart told true, And I'm at least her brother by adoption. For you have made yourself to me a father, And by that patent I have leave to love her.

Ser. Monimia, thou hast told me men are false, Will flatter, feign, and make an art of love. Is Chamont so? No, sure, he's more than man, Something that's near divine, and truth dwells in him.

Acast. Thus happy, who would envy pompous pow'r, The luxury of courts, or wealth of cities? Let there be joy through all the house this day! In ev'ry room let plenty flow at large, It is the birth-day of my royal master. You have not visited the court, Chamont, Since your return.

Cha. I have no business there; I have not slavish temperance enough T'attend a fav'rite's heels, and watch his smiles, Bear an ill office done me to my face, And thank the lord that wrong'd me for his favour. Acast. This you could do.

[To his Sons.
Cast. I'd serve my prince.
Acast. Who'd serve him?
Cast. I would, my Lord.
Pol. And I ; both would.

Acast. Away!
He needs not any servants such as you.

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Serve him! he merits more than man can do!
He is so good, praise cannot speak his worth ;
So merciful, sure he ne'er slept in wrath ;
So just, that were he but a private man,
He cou'd not do a wrong. How wou'd you serve him ?

Cast. I'd serve him with my fortune here at home,
And serve him with my person in his wars,
Watch for him, fight for him, bleed for him.
Pol. Die for him,

140 As ev'ry true-born loyal subject ought.

Acast. Let me embrace you both. Now, by the souls Of my brave ancestors, Pm truly happy, For this be ever blest my marriage-day, Blest be your mother's memory that bore you, And doubly blest be that auspicious hour That gave ye birth. “ Yes, my aspiring boys, “ Ye shall have business, when your master wants you. “ You cannot serve a nobler : I have serv'd him; “ In this old body yet the marks remain “Of many wounds. I've with this tongue proclaim'd “ His right, e'en in the face of rank rebellion; “ And when a foul-mouth'd traitor once profan'd “ His sacred name, with my good sabre drawn, « E'en at the head of all his giddy rout, “I rush'd, and clove the rebel to the chine."

Enter Servant.
Ser. My Lord th’expected guests are just arriv’d.
Acast. Go you, and give 'em welcome and recep-

tion. [Exeunt Castalio, Polydore, Serina, &c.

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Cha. My Lord, I stand in need of your assistance In something that concerns my peace and honour. 160

Acast. Spoke like the son of that brave man I loy'd: So freely, friendly, we convers'd together. Whate'er it be, with confidence impart it, Thou shalt command my fortune and my sword. Cha. I dare not doubt your friendship, nor your

justice,
Your bounty shewn to what I hold most dear,
My orphan sister must not be forgotten;

Acast. Prythee no more of that, it grates my nature.
Cha. When our dear parents dy'd, they dy'd to-

gether,
One fate surpris'd 'em, and one grave receiv'd 'em;
My father, with his dying breath, bequeath'd
Her to my love. My mother, as she lay
Languishing by him, call'd me to her side,
Took me in her fainting arms, wept, and embrac'd me:
Then press'd me close, and as she observ'd my tears,
Kiss'd them away. Said she, Chamont, my son,
By this and all the love I ever shew'd thee,
Be careful of Monimia; watch her youth;
Let not her wants betray her to dishonour :
Perhaps kind Heav'n may raise some friend. Then

sighed,
Kiss'd me again; so bless'd us, and expir'd.
Pardon my grief.

Acast. It speaks an honest nature.
Cha. The friend Heav'n rais'd was you; you took

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her up

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An infant, to the desert world exposid,
And prov'd another parent.

Acast. I've not wrong'd her.
Cha. Far be it from my

fears.
Acast. Then why this argument?
Cha. My lord, my nature's jealous, and you'll bearit.
Acast. Go on.

Cha. Great spirits bear misfortunęs hardly.
Good offices claim gratitude ; and pride,
Where pow'r is wanting, will usurp a little,
And make us, rather than be thought behind-hand,
Pay over-price.

Acast. I cannot guess your drift ;
Distrust you me?

Cha. No, but I fear her weakness
May make her pay her debt at any rate;
And, to deal freely with your lordship’s goodness,
I've heard a story lately much disturbs me.
Acast. Then first charge her; and if th' offence be

found
Within my reach, though it should touch my nature,
In my own offspring, by the dear remembrance
Of thy brave father, whom my heart rejoic'd in,
I'd prosecute it with severest vengeance. [Exit.

Cha. I thank you from my soul.

Mon. Alas! my brother!
What have I done and why do you abuse me
My heart quakes in me; in your settled face,
And clouded brow, methinks I see my fate.
You will not kill me!

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